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Real-time air pollution data collection and the future of environmental science

Real-time air pollution data collection and the future of environmental science

Imagine being able to collect real-time air pollution data and greenhouse gas data in our country’s cities and in the lower atmosphere, imagine collecting all that data and storing it in the cloud? Is it possible? Well, it’s becoming a lot more possible than it used to be, thanks to drones, planes, cars, smartphones, cloud computing, sensor technology, and the will of people. Let’s discuss some of the latest developments.

You see, there was interesting new research just published in a popular science journal; “Sensor Arrays for the Detection and Characterization of Methane and Other Environmental Pollutant Gases, Amy Hannon,” By Yijiang Lu, Jing Li, and M. Miyapan; July 25, 2016. The summary states:

“We deal with the sensitive detection and discrimination of gases affecting the environment, such as CH4, NH3, SO2 and CO, using a sensor array with the assistance of Principal Component Analysis (PCA). A 32-element chemical sensor array was constructed from nine different sensor materials including seven types of single-wall modified carbon nanotubes and two types of polymers that were precisely constructed against data collected using bottom-of-the-loop spectroscopy. The sensor chip has also been integrated with a smartphone and has been shown to reproduce sensing performance obtained using a laboratory measurement system.”

We already have drones that have been used to collect atmospheric data, along with planes full of sensors, and now that those sensors are getting smaller and smaller, they can be integrated into the average everyday smartphone. Imagine if all of this data was combined with GPS data, and all in real time?

Perhaps, we can tackle the real problems of air pollution without pretending to know all the answers and deal with them at a regional level, where pollution and really problematic air particles are created on those that have just been classified as “evil” by the status quo of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. By knowing where the problems really are, we can better combat the real problems of human health in cities around the world such as; Mumbai, Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico City and more. With the help of NASA satellites and a centralized networking strategy for mobile sensors that use geographic data all connected to the cloud and cutting-edge ERSI software, we can get it done, and do it right. think about it.

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